Tie their shoes. Make their beds. Prepare breakfast or lunch for themselves. Load the dishwasher. Laundry. These are all essential to-dos for children to learn. Are you teaching them these kinds of responsibilities or just doing it for them? Or, is your nanny doing most of the work rather than teaching the kids essential life-skills while she’s on duty?
Unfortunately, many children and young adults today are used to having everything done for them and when they get old enough to be out on their own, they are shocked at what it takes. In some extreme cases, young adults still expect their parents to take care of them – they don’t take responsibility for paying bills, mismanage money, or simply rely on their parents to pay for most of their major expenses.
How can we avoid this sense of entitlement and better prepare the children in our households for real world living?
Teach children the value of work and teach them valuable problem solving skills. When parents or nannies do all of the work for them, we are sending the message that we don’t think they’re capable to do it themselves. When we do all the laundry or swoop in to clean all of their messes in their room, we aren’t showing them that we think they can do it and we’re not allowing them the practice. When you hire your nanny, be sure you communicate with her about the importance of allowing the children to take part in some of the household chores and duties. Even at a young age, our kids can be involved in what it means to help out around the house. Holding them accountable to complete assigned tasks is a great way for them to learn the value of work and consequences.
Start with small tasks. Some examples might include picking up towels, cleaning up toys after they’re done playing with them, or helping clear/clean the table at the end of a meal. Be intentional about giving them small tasks to participate in because over time, those small things add up. Giving them small responsibilities means that as they get older you will be able to trust them enough to give them bigger responsibilities.
Work with your nanny on what abilities you want your children to have by a certain age and be intentional about teaching them important life skills each week. If parents and nannies cooperate together to raise confident, well-adjusted kids, our world and the world around them will be a better place. Your children will thank you later.